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Financial Times May 26, 1992 - Tele-cottage Profile

May 26, 1992, Tuesday
SECTION: Management (The Growing Business); Pg. 10
LENGTH: 346 words
HEADLINE: Computer in the cottage
During the industrial revolution in Britain, families in Lancashire boosted their income by producing cotton in their cellars. Now a small start-up firm in Whalley, Lancashire is hoping to repeat the success of home working by substituting desktop computers and sophisticated telecommunications facilities for the hand-loom of the last century.

Based on the Scandinavian 'telecottage' concept, Anthony Capstick has set up Ribble Tel-Business Trust with the backing of the East Lancashire Training and Enterprise Council and the Rural Development Commission.

RTT hopes to create employment in the area by tendering for data entry work from large international companies which will then be carried out by a network of self-employed home workers.

However, its bread-and-butter business is providing basic office and computer services like photocopying, printing, fax, personal telephone answering, typing and computer hire by the hour for local businesses. If required RTT will also provide one-to-one computer training at home - a service tailor-made for shy businessmen.

From RTT's communications centre in Whalley, Capstick will also be offering an online, high-speed search service through a company he has set up called Instant Search, which he describes as 'a retail outlet for business information held on computers'.

Using computer, telecommunications and fax facilities Instant Search can provide corporate and business information from computer databases in the UK and most overseas countries including the US within 10 minutes. Capstick points out, somewhat surprisingly, that it is possible to dial more overseas countries directly from Whalley than it is from Manhattan. Instant Search operators capture information on their desktop terminals from computer databases and convert it into a fax for delivery to clients. Capstick claims customers can receive the information they require within minutes rather than the hours or days taken by most conventional search agents.

Ribble Tele-Business Trust: Tel. 0254 822922, Fax. 0254 822221.

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